WOS Adopts TheatreMAD as 2009 Awards CharityDate: 12 August 2008
HIV and AIDS charity TheatreMAD (Theatre Making a Difference) has been chosen as the adopted charity for the 2009 Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards. This year’s four-month Awards campaign – including the two star-studded events which top and tail audience voting – will be held in aid of TheatreMAD.
Newly founded by the group of volunteers who, for the last 18 years, have organised cabaret and other fundraising events for Theatrecares, West End Cares and Crusaid, TheatreMAD is a committed response from the British theatre community and its audiences to raise money and awareness to help people affected by HIV, AIDS and other critical illnesses.
TheatreMAD also aims to ensure that those who fundraise for it – namely, the theatre community – are supported by establishing a fund to relieve suffering and hardship for those working in the industry and living with HIV, AIDS and other critical illnesses.
TheatreMAD’s fundraising is primarily focussed on events, including late-night cabarets, midnight matinees of West End shows, special gala nights and concerts such as the recent West End Eurovision competition (See News, 7 May 2008). This month, TheatreMAD will present The MAD Fringe, a week of cabaret, comedy, theatre and music, running from 18 to 23 August at Trafalgar Studios 2 (See News, 22 Apr 2008). During The MAD Fringe, the cast of Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig, the current show in the adjacent Trafalgar Studios 1, will get involved by holding a special fundraising performance at 3.30pm on Tuesday 19 August. The four-hander stars Robert Webb, Kris Marshall, Joanna Page and Ella Smith.
Nominations open for the 2009 Whatsonstage.com Awards at the beginning of November. The shortlists are announced at the Awards Launch Party held on 5 December 2008 at Café de Paris and hosted this year by American comedy icon Joan Rivers (See News, 26 Jun 2008). Online voting then commences to decide the eventual winners, which will be announced in February 2009 just ahead of the Winners’ Concert, held on Sunday 15 February at a West End theatre, where trophies will be presented.
Commenting on TheatreMAD’s involvement with the Awards, TheatreMAD chairman David Pendlebury said: “We are thrilled to have been chosen as the nominated charity for the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice Awards, particularly as many of the award winners have performed at our events in the past and will hopefully do so in the future. The entire team at Whatsonstage.com have been so supportive of our work and their coverage of our galas, concerts and cabarets has made a huge difference to the amount of money we have been able to raise. Being this year's charity will enable us to raise our profile and show the theatre industry and the general public the important work that we are doing to help and support those affected by HIV, AIDS and many other critical illnesses.”
Terri Paddock, Editorial Director of Whatsonstage.com and What’s On Stage magazine, added: “We’ve long been admirers of the work of the Theatrecares and West End Cares volunteers and are very keen to support their ongoing dedication to such a worthy cause under their new guise of TheatreMAD. Thus far, they certainly have made a difference and, no doubt, will continue to do so for many, many years to come.”
Each year, Whatsonstage.com selects one arts-related charity as part of the Theatregoers’ Choice Awards campaign. In addition to the association with the best of British theatre and proceeds received from the two Awards events, the charity benefits from exposure on Whatsonstage.com and our dedicated awards website as well as in our sister print title What’s On Stage Magazine and gains a valuable platform to directly address both the theatre industry and the theatregoing public. Previous Awards charities have included Mousetrap Theatre Projects, SAFE (Sponsored Arts for Education), Sophie’s Silver Lining Fund and the Drake Music Project. For more information on TheatreMAD, visit www.theatremad.org.uk.
About the Whatsonstage.com Awards
For the first time, with the 2009 Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards, a limited number of sponsorship packages – normally reserved for corporate partners – are available to private theatregoers. These include tickets to the invitation-only, industry-attended launch party at Café de Paris (not normally open to the public) as well as VIP passes to the winners’ concert next February. For more information on theatregoers’ sponsorship options, click here.